Shams Culture Central Park, Abu Dhabi

Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Building Area: 40,000 sqm

Client: Sorouh Real Estate Development


The Shams Central Park is located in the heart of the newly developed Reem Island. ZNA is the urban designer as well as the architectural firm to design civic buildings with a total of 40,000 square meters, including Cultural Building / Discovery Garden building, Local Arena, Food/Restaurant Complex and Entertainment Complex. The Shams Central Park offers a unique setting in which basic, cultural, entertainment, leisure and spiritual needs can be answered within a predominantly natural setting, an intentionally dramatic contrast to the surrounding urban environments.


The Cultural Center has been adjusted to emphasize on Family fun and education, which has assumed two contrasting faces. On its roof the center is basically a continuation of the park with interior enclosed space beneath suggested in the periodic placement of glass prisms or crystals which animate the surface of the park and let light and air into the spaces below. Placing the building partially below ground and utilizing earth thermal shield as part of its roof will reduce the cost of cooling and contribute to the building’s sustainable design. On its east facade,the Center has incorporated the angular language of the retail complex facades to the north, making use of prismatic skylight enclosures for sculptural articulation and natural light,so that the eastern edge of the retail complex and the center become one unified faceted and exciting architectural expression.




The Arena will serve informal entertainment including movies, music concerts, and public gatherings. While the Arena now incorporates a new theater design in the traditional form of a classical amphitheatre,new translucent roof and radial beam structure allowing for more controlled light to access theater space in order to increase the historic sense of the open air amphitheater.Visitors can enter the amphitheater from a dramatic arcade which surrounds the east edge of the arena. From here, there are dramatic views down and across the roof of the stage house and the Lagoon to the Cultural Edutainment Center beyond.


Shams Culture Central Park, Abu Dhabi

Location: Abu Dhabi, UAE
Building Area: 40,000 sqm

Client: Sorouh Real Estate Development


The Shams Central Park is located in the heart of the newly developed Reem Island. ZNA is the urban designer as well as the architectural firm to design civic buildings with a total of 40,000 square meters, including Cultural Building / Discovery Garden building, Local Arena, Food/Restaurant Complex and Entertainment Complex. The Shams Central Park offers a unique setting in which basic, cultural, entertainment, leisure and spiritual needs can be answered within a predominantly natural setting, an intentionally dramatic contrast to the surrounding urban environments.


The Cultural Center has been adjusted to emphasize on Family fun and education, which has assumed two contrasting faces. On its roof the center is basically a continuation of the park with interior enclosed space beneath suggested in the periodic placement of glass prisms or crystals which animate the surface of the park and let light and air into the spaces below. Placing the building partially below ground and utilizing earth thermal shield as part of its roof will reduce the cost of cooling and contribute to the building’s sustainable design. On its east facade,the Center has incorporated the angular language of the retail complex facades to the north, making use of prismatic skylight enclosures for sculptural articulation and natural light,so that the eastern edge of the retail complex and the center become one unified faceted and exciting architectural expression.




The Arena will serve informal entertainment including movies, music concerts, and public gatherings. While the Arena now incorporates a new theater design in the traditional form of a classical amphitheatre,new translucent roof and radial beam structure allowing for more controlled light to access theater space in order to increase the historic sense of the open air amphitheater.Visitors can enter the amphitheater from a dramatic arcade which surrounds the east edge of the arena. From here, there are dramatic views down and across the roof of the stage house and the Lagoon to the Cultural Edutainment Center beyond.


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